Scandinavian style and hygge decor have swept the world over with a distinct look hailed in our favorite design magazines and blogs. With a focus on simplicity, minimalism, and functionality, this design movement which emerged in the 1950s has added an appreciation for craftsmanship and understated elegance in homes. Here’s a quick guide with our top tips for creating Scandinavian interior design in your own home. By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly how to infuse a space with the clever functionality and pleasing aesthetics of Scandinavian interiors!
1. LIGHTING IS KEY IN SCANDINAVIAN INTERIORS
With as little as seven daylight hours in winter months, the way lighting is used in the design is paramount to typical Scandinavian design. Because daylight is a temporary luxury in the winter months people spend a lot more time indoors. When thinking about your Scandinavian interior it is important to have several types of lighting. Not only to help give off a cozy welcoming feeling but for mood-building purposes as well!
Candlelight is also a must. It adds a touch of whimsy glow to a room that makes staying indoors no problem at all. In addition to the interior of your home, Scandinavian cafes have votives at all hours. For example, people of Denmark (the Scandinavian design capital of the world) are known to keep candelabras lit on their dining tables and window sills.
2. SCANDINAVIAN DESIGN MUSTS: FORM & FUNCTION
In terms of furniture, clean lines are the way to go. When looking at sofas and chairs you can often they’re inspired by mid-century modern design. Also commonly found is smooth rounded edges. Most of the Scandinavian style furniture has natural hues. Scandinavian design also prides itself on innovative and functional design.
In addition, texture plays a big part in Scandinavian furniture. If a chair is made from a rough metal material, you’ll often find something soft and cozy draped over it. Scandinavian living promotes a laid back lifestyle so it’s common to find pillows and blankets placed on the floor as well. A trend towards multileveled and sized wall shelving speaks to the need for being space-savvy through practical storage and visual interest. The Danish company, Montana, offers customizable cabinetry with an incredible selection of color.
3. LIGHT COLORED FLOORING
In regards to wall-to-wall carpet in Scandinavian interiors, it’s almost never seen. Flooring traditionally is hard-wood. Because of the raw nature, it’s often left in its natural color or painted white. This contributes to expanding the space and inviting in more light. Residential bathrooms often have heated tiles for a warm underfoot during the winter season.
4. FRESH FLOWERS AND BOTANICALS
It is important to have living elements of color and beauty in the Scandinavian style. “Fresh flowers are not a luxury, they’re a necessity”, shared a Copenhagen native. This is commonly apparent with sidewalk florists selling tulips of every color, arranged bouquets, succulents and more!
5. NEUTRAL COLORS
There is definitely a color palette associated with the Scandinavian style. Whites, grays, blacks, and browns are often interwoven creating a clean and calming look. Designers have also introduced other pop colors like dusty pinks and rich sea greens for added accents. In typical Scandinavian spaces, walls are kept white allowing for furniture and art to captivate.
6. CLUTTER-FREE SCANDINAVIAN INTERIORS
One of the truest characteristics of Scandinavian interior design is making sure spaces are well used and limited in unnecessary clutter. Storage is widely implemented in the form of cabinets and shelving. Decor is intentional with a “less is more” mantra, keeping spaces looking clean and visually relaxing.
7. LIMITED WINDOW TREATMENTS
Contributing to the idea of inviting as much light in as possible, Scandinavian spaces tend to leave their windows bare of coverings. If used, light fabrics like linen and sheer are preferred. At night, the glow of illuminated windows in buildings looks like a beautiful postcard.
8. SIMPLE DECORATIVE ACCENTS
Decorative accents in Scandinavian design are simple in style. Elegant ceramic vases like these Kähler Botanica miniature vases and pillows with geometric patterns like these Normann Copenhagen cushions add subtle color and texture to a home.
9. WARM TEXTILES
In cold climate countries, it’s not surprising that part of the decor comes in the form of warming textiles like sheepskins, wool or mohair throws and soft cotton. Not only do they provide a feeling of warmth and coziness, but they also add another layer of texture to a space.
10. WOOD + METAL FINISHES IN SCANDINAVIAN INTERIORS
Modern Scandinavian design uses wood not only in their flooring but also decoratively in furniture such as dining and coffee tables. There is also a popular trend of bringing in metallic finishes in lighting and accent pieces. Copper and brass pendants and sconces are a way of adding shine to a room.
Using these top 10 elements as a guide, you too can create a space that incorporates the simplicity, utility, and beauty of Scandinavian interior design. Decorilla affordable interior designers can use this style to create beautiful and comfortable spaces and show you how your place can look in this style too!
Still feel like you need a little interior design help? No worries – Schedule A Free Interior Design Consultation with a Scandinavian designer today to help you create the perfect space!
Written by Decorilla Interior Designer, Christine M.